Dead in the Water is the 8th book in the Mattie Winston Mystery series and it was a delightfully engaging and funny read. This story delves further into the background story between Mattie’s mother and father and offers a bit more insight into how she grew up and why. Though the beginning is a little slow, due to an overabundance of background information that long time readers of the series will find tedious, it picked up a couple of chapters in and kept up the pace until the last page.
This installment in the series finds Mattie living with Hurley and his daughter Emily, as well as their son Matthew. This portion of the book was a welcome surprise. Many of the previous books have had a lot of emotional issues between these characters but they seem to have settled into a wonderful family unit. Emily’s character has clearly grown and matured and it was nice to avoid the teenage angst I feared might be coming. Matthew, who is around 2 in this story, was hilarious and very well written. I enjoyed his antics and the way he keeps his parents on their toes.
The mystery in this story felt a little overly complicated and too far reaching but I appreciate the fact that it can easily Segway into future books. The mystery kept me guessing for most of the book until some of the larger clues became apparent. Though I was left without a full resolution to the questions raised in the book it does leave me excited for the next book, as I’m sure the author intended!